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1962 Cross Country Race — 4 Comments

  1. John Frankland, son of PE master Stan was a remarkable runner, winner the junior cross-country in his first and second year. At his first attempt at the senior title 1963 he beat the field again but in his fourth race, 1964, he was beaten into third place by both Keith Phillips and George Baines. The same year Keith Phillips went on to win the district cross-country against a very strong field at Chigwell Row and was later rewarded with a district representation in the county championship and captained the school track and field athletics team.

  2. I remember traning at Ilford Athletic club and I think Keith trained there the year he beat the near invincible John Frankland. It was that year I finished my highest of 9th never did enjoy much above 400 mts.
    The following year when John won again I was near last getting a stitch half way round. I remember on the Monday at school Stan Frankland giving me an ear full for letting down my Field house team who would have won the team trophy if I had done a good run.
    I deserved it as my total lack of understanding that doing lots of running the night before the race was not a good idea and when you add cycling up to Chigwell Row its a wonder I could run at all.
    Re George Baines coming second the year Keith won and beating John. George was a very good footballer, swimmer and distance runner but as a retired swimming coach I know it was his swimming training and the fitness gained from it that made him so good as a cross country runner.

  3. I remember the 1965 race as if it were yesterday. I’d won the two junior races and was now competing in the senior race. John and I had never competed on cross country because of the age gap. So I was excited to have the chance to race against him. As usual a mad rush to go through a narrow gate from the starting gun. Held off so as to avoid getting blocked. Round a muddy trail picking them off one by one. Then the long rising sandy trail, John was in front I was third. In the two previous races this is where I made my push. John and I were now shoulder to shoulder stride for stride. Something had to give and suddenly John dropped back I thought that’s it I’ve done it. Still cruising looking forward to the next stage running in the forest I heard someone coming up behind me. I thought it was John getting a second breath and making a challenge. It was George. He passed me quite easily as we went into the forest. He was about 50 yards ahead when he made a wrong turn and I followed. That was it, race over.

  4. Hi Pat you and john were the real masters of the cross country. For me it was pure pain. After a life time of being a swimming coach I totally understand why George Baines was so good on endurance runs due to his swimming background. I have seen swimmer after swimmer I have coached upset the runners from the Athletics clubs at the local school champs. Way back in the 1970s I was Head Coach at Barking swimming Club and one of my lads every year split the two wonder lads from Essex Beagles in the Borough 1500 metres race. Every year the Athletics coach tried to sign him up. Interestingly both the beagles lads went on to make the Olympics. One for GB and one for Canada.

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